Days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited a tribal man's residence for lunch in Bengal's Bankura district, both BJP and TMC leaders seemed to be making a beeline to the family's modest household, promising financial and medical aid for his ailing daughter. BJP MP from Bankura Dr Subhas Sarkar visited Bibhishan Hansda's household at Chaturdihi village earlier in the day, along with some of his party men, and said he would bear all treatment expenses of his teenaged daughter, who is suffering from a rare diabetic disorder.
Sarkar also said the girl might be flown to AIIMS in Delhi, if need be. "She is suffering from diabetes insipidus, which starts early in life and needs continuous treatment. I will do everything possible to help her, as suggested by our home minister," he stated.
Local TMC leaders had met Hansda on Saturday and promised all facilities to the class 12 girl, two days after Shah's much-hyped visit to the household. "Amit Shah came, had lunch but did not offer any financial package or help to the family. The BJP will always provide lip service to the poor tribals," Shyamal Santra, Bankura TMC chief, had said.
He also advised the girl to take up a course in nursing later in life. Bankura, dominated by tribal and backward communities, is one of the several districts, where the BJP made deep inroads in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
It bagged both the parliamentary seats in Bankura. A district CPI(M) leader said the BJP and the TMC seem to have suddenly woken up to the plight of the family, with an eye on the tribal vote bank, ahead of 2021 assembly polls.
The CPI(M) leader also said that he "would be happy if any of those promises are actually fulfilled". BJP state general secretary Sayantan Basu had said on Saturday that the ruling party would reach out to more such families, only if Shah visits them.
"It seems more such visits by the home minister is required to tribal, backward and poor households… The local Trinamool leadership stands exposed before the tribals in the Jangalmahal area, who have identified the BJP as their true friend," he said. The TMC leaders, however, levelled counter allegations, claiming that the BJP is "indulging in cheap vote bank politics" by arranging such visits.
Jangalmahal area, once a Maoist stronghold, comprises parts of Jhargram, Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia.